Managing in a crisis: a guide for charities

We’ve sought to set out the practical steps charities can take – and points to consider – if a crisis hits.

Our aim is always to help clients avoid a crisis in the first place, and our experience shows that good planning and governance are critical. However, a crisis can come from unexpected quarters – and affect even the most well-run organisations – something we have seen all too clearly with the global pandemic.

This is why we’ve produced this crisis management guide for charities. Drawing on the expertise of colleagues from different areas of the firm, and fellow B Corp Forster Communications, we look at some of the varied issues that might prompt a crisis, how you might pre-empt a crisis, and how to plan for the worst, should it happen. We address questions such as:

  • How do you deal with your regulators?
  • When should you make a serious incident report to the Charity Commission?
  • How do you manage communications?
  • How can you respond to cyber fraud?

As an overarching theme in the current climate, we are mindful that many charities are particularly grappling with scrutiny and challenge around racial equity and other EDI (equity, diversity and inclusion)-related issues, as well as a backlash from some of their stakeholders for engaging with such issues in the first place.

Throughout this guide, we encourage charities to tackle the current political climate – and the challenges of navigating the so-called ‘culture wars’ – head on, and not let the landscape of polarised politics hold them back from doing what they do best: working to create a better society for all.

Click here to read Managing in a crisis: a guide for charities


We will be discussing many of these themes at Spotlight, the annual Bates Wells charity conference, on 22nd November 2021. From Tristram Hunt and David Farnsworth taking us through the positives from the pandemic, to Tessy Ojo, Halima Begum and Dr Marie Kawthar Daouda in a panel debate examining the “culture war” and its far-reaching impact on the sector, we hope that the day will provide a fantastic opportunity to enjoy some healthy debate and legal updates. Virtual places are available to book now.


This information is necessarily of a general nature and doesn’t constitute legal advice. This is not a substitute for formal legal advice, given in the context of full information under an engagement with Bates Wells.

All content on this page is correct as of November 11, 2021.